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Your Saturday Briefing: The Consequences of Grandstanding

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Taiwan's lawmakers at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi meets with Taiwan's lawmakers at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei, Taiwan, on Wednesday, Aug. 3.

Photographer: Yaoho Chen/CNA

Well, hello there. We have some great stories for you to delve into this weekend, and a revealing podcast to get you thinking.

One of the dominant themes of the past week was US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s contentious visit to Taiwan, and the resulting fallout with China. It’s not clear why she chose this moment to visit Taiwan, when relations between the US and China were already stressfully low. But her trip offered insight into superpower relations as China, which considers Taiwan its lost territory, unleashed its most provocative military drills in decades. As our long-time Tokyo resident Gearoid Reidy notes in Bloomberg Opinion, it’s a reminder to the region that China—and President Xi Jinping—is more than adept at playing the long game. Pelosi, a China hawk in her 80s, said she wanted Taiwan to know the US won’t abandon a vital partner in democracy and trade (read: chips). Message received.

Away from geopolitical angst, Bloomberg Markets magazine polled some big names, from Nobel Laureate Paul Krugman to the world’s longest-serving central banker (10 points if you can guess where he’s from), asking them what they think poses the biggest threat to the economy.